Go Ahead, Judge a Book by its Cover

Don’t judge a book by its cover. You probably just heard that line spoken in your mother’s voice. Or your favorite English teacher. And most times, it’s absolutely true. But, just for today, let’s make an exception. Shhh…I won’t tell if you won’t.

Three years ago, when I first began writing the Legacy series, I knew I needed an amazing cover to stand out from the pack. By a stroke of luck, I discovered the supremely talented, Italian-based designer, Giovanni Auriemma. Since then, he’s produced the San Francisco-themed covers for Legacy, Prophecy, Revelation, and AWOL. But, my favorite cover by far has got to be his newest design for my psychological thriller, Daddy Darkest. Dark, disturbing, and downright creepy, he made my vision come to life in the best/worst way!

The cover for Daddy Darkest was recently shortlisted for Cover of the Month on AllAuthor.com, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my interview with Giovanni, cover artist extraordinaire.

Tell us about your path to designing book covers.

I’ve always loved to go around the bookstores and look at the book covers. As a boy I dreamed of being able to illustrate novels. But my study path was different. I studied Scenography (the design and painting of theatrical scenery) at the Academy of Fine Arts. Over time, I realized that the theater was not for me, and I decided to concentrate on the most intimate dimension of illustration. I think the study of stage design and theater have been fundamental in my approach to book cover artwork. I always try to understand the best atmosphere to be able to translate the themes of the book as a good set designer would do with a theatrical work.

What do you find most rewarding about your job? And most 
difficult?

Certainly the hardest part is to understand the author’s expectations.  Feelings are different and sometimes it’s not always easy to translate the feelings an author would like to convey. The rewarding part is finding the right key or perhaps discovering unexpected visual solutions that speak to myself and the author.

What (or who) inspires you and your art? Any favorite artists?

There are a plethora of talented artists. I have great love for the work of artists who have more to do with the world of illustration, such as Dave McKean, Shaun Tan, Rebecca Dautremer—all excellent artists who manage to bring innovative elements into the publishing world.

What are the most important elements in designing an 
eye-catching cover?

Simplicity is usually the winning element.

Aside from your cover design, what other types of art do you 
create?

I like to create digital art images, combining elements of photography,
3D and painting, much closer to the world of illustration. In my spare
time, I am trying to design my own tarot series.

So go ahead, judge away! And thanks to Giovanni for his insights. If you’d like to check out more of Giovanni’s work or ask him to design your covers, visit his website.

And if you think the cover for Daddy Darkest is as amazingly creepy as I do, please vote for it by clicking here.

 

 

August 4, 2017

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